Tech Essentials for the Business Traveler

Wherever your business takes you, here's the mobile technology you need to keep on going.
Magazine Contributor
15+ min read

This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Editor's note: Looking for our online exclusives? Read about hot spots here and wireless security here.

Bradley Skaggs lost track of his frequent flier mileage balance long ago. But the 38-year-old keeps close tabs on the messenger bag he carries on routine cross-country flights for his eponymous firm, Skaggs. It's loaded with gadgets including his 15-inch G4 Apple PowerBook, his Sony Ericsson P900 mobile phone and, yes, his Apple iPod. The latter, by the way, doubles as a backup drive for his computer. "I could boot off it if I needed to," Skaggs says.

The 10-person boutique advertising and graphic design agency, whose sales are expected to reach $1 million this year, has headquarters in both San Francisco and New York City, so Skaggs and his wife and co-founder, Jonina, are often on the go. All the technology Skaggs uses is, by design, mobile. And rather than buying, he arranges for leases that let him update his gadgets more frequently.

"The last thing you want is to have a bunch of computers piled up in the corner," says Skaggs, who enjoys the flexibility leasing gives him to keep his equipment up-to-date.

So what could Skaggs buy now if his lease was up? And what about your business: Are you thinking about adding to your arsenal? No matter your situation, you'll find the answers you need in our special annual report on technology products, trends and innovations that make the life of the mobile entrepreneur a little bit easier--from cell phones and data communications devices to full-featured notebook computers. If you're on the go, at least one of these products is for you.

Call Me Anytime
When it comes to mobile phones, the thinner, the better. But that's no reason to sacrifice all the goodies you've come to expect in mobile handsets, including larger, crisper color displays; basic text-messaging support; digital cameras; and Bluetooth wireless connectivity for running peripherals such as hands-free headsets.

"We're finally at a point where consumers understand they can do more with their mobile phones than voice," says David Linsalata, analyst for mobile devices at research firm IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts. "Voice will always be the killer application, but they're starting to look beyond that."

Another researcher, Gartner Inc. in Dripping Springs, Texas, projects 13 percent unit growth in mobile phone sales this year, to approximately 750 million units. For the first quarter of 2005, Gartner and IDC reported that worldwide phone shipments reached approximately 180 million devices. While Nokia retained its No. 1 position globally, Motorola was the leader in the United States, buoyed in part by interest in its ultrathin RAZR V3, both research firms reported.

Weighing 3.3 ounces, the RAZR V3 measures 3.8 inches long by 2 inches wide by 0.5 inches thick. The phone supports quad-band usage, and its technical specifications claim a talk time of five hours. It comes with Bluetooth, a 4x digital zoom camera and a speaker-phone, among other features; the price in mid-September was $249 (all prices street), or $199 with a two-year contract from Cingular or T-Mobile.

This fall, Motorola plans to introduce at least two variations on the RAZR platform, both designed to take advantage of EDGE communications services, which will support applications such as music and data file downloads. The first phone, called SLVR, will come with push-to-talk capabilities (the walkie-talkie-style feature popularized by Nextel Communications) and the ability to add up to 512MB of memory. The PEBL V6, due by the end of 2005, will feature an oval-shaped, dual-hinged design.

LG Electronics, which ranks fourth worldwide in mobile-phone shipments, is also coming on strong in the North American market, according to IDC. One of its latest phones is the LG VX8000, a flip phone that takes advantage of 3G data services. In mid-September, the phone cost approximately $155 after a $70 mail-in rebate from LG.

Linsalata says handset manufacturers will continue to stress more multimedia features into early 2006, improving cameras and enhancing audio capabilities. While these advances are primarily consumer-focused, they will provide the foundation for business applications such as two-way mobile videoconferencing, he says. While some carriers offer entry-level phones for next to nothing if you make a long-term commitment to their monthly service, you can expect to pay a differential of $200 to $250 for these premium features.

This latest twist in the evolution of mobile phones points toward a new kind of converged device--in this case, one that marries the phone with a portable digital music player. A deal between Apple and Motorola, for example, lets you download files from the iTunes online music store onto certain next-generation handsets. While this won't necessarily help you seal a business deal, it might help you kill time in an airport lounge.

Palm Reading

Of course, the most prevalent converged mobile device remains the smart-phone, which combines the ability to make voice calls with data-centric communications tasks such as retrieving and sending e-mail or downloading file attachments or other content from remote servers.

Here, too, the offerings continue to explode, ranging from the Treo 650, the latest edition from U.S. smartphone leader Palm; to the planned Hewlett-Packard iPAQ hw6500 Mobile Messenger, shipped over the summer; to the BlackBerry 7100 series from Research In Motion--the force to reckon with when it comes to handheld e-mail and data communications. These devices still carry a serious premium over more traditional mobile phones, costing from about $400 to $900, depending on the service.

But price is just one reason for their slow adoption. Another is that form factors remain awkward. While most mobile phones can be used with one hand, many smartphones require both. "The fact is that any smartphone is something of a compromise between a great phone and a great PDA," says Todd Kort, principal analyst at Gartner.

Kort says about 16 million smartphones shipped in 2004, and that number will likely more than double in 2005. (U.S. shipments were about 2 million last year, and the Treo line accounted for just over half, he estimates.)

But the lines have blurred: When counting unit shipments, Gartner now lumps smartphones with their kin from the data world, most notably the handheld market leader, BlackBerry. By the time you read this, Kort predicts, RIM will have reached the 4 million-subscriber mark. "It's pretty clear that wireless e-mail is the first sort of killer application there's been in the wireless device market," he says.

E-mail software application providers that conduct research in this segment include Intellisync, which released in June an offering called Wireless Email Express. It pushes e-mail to handheld devices running Palm, Pocket PC, Symbian, SyncML or Windows Mobile Smart-phone. The Intellisync service carries an introductory price of $120 per year.

Other players are Good Technology, Seven Networks and Visto, all of which aim to bring the same sort of e-mail capabilities once associated only with the BlackBerry to more basic mobile phones. Visto, for example, teamed up with Nextel in May to launch a push e-mail service that works with Java-based phones such as the Motorola i605, i355 and i275 models. The service starts at $14.99 per month with 2MB of data access.

Another factor driving sales of converged handhelds, experts say, is the advent this year of applications that let users access data housed in their offices. One example is MobileAccess from Ten-Digits Software, which lets a BlackBerry user get to data stored in the Microsoft CRM application. "Prior to things like MobileAccess, mobile devices were only good for lookup. Now I have my customer database at my fingertips no matter where I am, including their histories," says Karen Brodie, 47, founder of Brodie Computes Inc., a 10-person IT consulting company in Guelph, Ontario, and a TenDigits customer. "It's way beyond being able to look up a phone number or access e-mail."

Brodie says she pays about $500 per user for the software, plus mobile service and update fees. She uses the software on her BlackBerry 7250.

The wild card for the converged hand-held segment is Microsoft. The software giant is including features in its Windows Mobile 5.0 software that will hook handheld devices more directly into Exchange mail servers back in the office, providing the same message-pushing features offered on the Black-Berry. Devices using the new Microsoft software are slated to ship late this year.

New and Noteworthy
This could well be the crossover year for notebooks. Gartner projects that worldwide mobile PC shipments will grow 26.5 percent this year, compared with just 4.6 percent growth for desktops. Portables now account for slightly less than 30 percent of all PCs shipped, the firm reports. And another researcher, San Diego-based Current Analysis, made waves earlier this year when it reported that second-quarter retail sales of notebooks had outstripped those of desktops.

One big factor in the notebook upswing has been price, says Sam Bhavnani, principal analyst of mobile computing for Current Analysis. As of July, average entry-level notebook price tags were around $1,100, down from $1,400 in summer 2004, Bhavnani reports. During the same time frame, average desktop prices declined by only about $30.

The Dell Latitude D510, as an example, starts at $929 and comes with a choice of a Pentium M or a Celeron M microprocessor from Intel. The notebook includes a rugged Tri-Metal chassis and Strike Zone shock absorber; starts with 256MB of DDR2 RAM (expandable up to 2GB); offers a choice of hard drives ranging from 30GB to 80GB; and comes standard with internal Intel Pro Wireless 802.11 b/g, a 24X CD-ROM drive and four USB 2.0 slots, among other ports.

Advanced Micro Devices' introduction of its Turion 64-bit mobile technology in March should inspire further price reductions in the category, experts say. Turion is AMD's latest answer to the Centrino mobile platform, which serves as the foundation for notebooks using Intel processors and wireless technology.

Bahr Mahony, divisional marketing manager for AMD's Mobile Business Division, Microprocessor Solutions Sector, says Turion was optimized to encourage the design of thin and light notebooks operating at lower thermal levels. It has the added benefit of providing a 64-bit upgrade path for buyers looking to invest in future editions of Microsoft's Windows operating system, he says.

Hewlett-Packard was the first major brand to ship a commercial notebook product based on Turion. The HP Compaq nx6125 Notebook PC, which starts at under $1,000, comes with options including AMD's PowerNow power management technology, along with an optional travel battery; a built-in fingerprint sensor that supports secure single sign-on; integrated wireless LAN connectivity; a 15-inch display; and a three-year warranty.

HP hopes to sweeten the deal with a bundle for small businesses that combines an HP ProLiant Server with Microsoft Small Business Server, a choice of mobile devices and a wireless network. It has also applied its HP Financial Services Budget Stretcher lease program to purchases of its new notebooks.

Among other major notebook vendors, IBM this summer shipped the ThinkPad X41 Tablet series, a 12-inch convertible notebook/tablet computer that weighs 3.5 pounds and is 1.14 inches thick. Certain models offer up to 6.3 hours of battery life. What makes the product especially interesting is that at $1,899, it's only $100 more than a traditional notebook, Bhavnani says.

At this writing, Sony Electronics' latest innovation was an ultraportable, 3-pound VAIO T-Series notebook with built-in connectivity to Cingular Wireless' nationwide EDGE network, which offers speeds of 70Kbps to 135Kbps. Priced at about $2,200, the system supports one-click DVD burning and comes with a 10.6-inch wide-format LCD.

Also in June, Toshiba introduced a 14-inch diagonal, under-$1,000 wide-screen model that weighs less than 5 pounds and measures 1.2 inches thick. One of the more notable options for the new Tecra A5 series: the ConfigFree application, which monitors wireless access points and Bluetooth presence, analyzes connectivity problems and enables quick file-sharing with other nearby users.

By the time you read this, experts predict we'll see notebooks coming standard with DVD rewriters, 60GB to 80GB hard drives, and up to 1GB of memory.

"It's a social dynamic, in addition to a price/performance equation," says Gerry Purdy, principal analyst with Cupertino, California-based MobileTrax, which advises clients on mobile and wireless computing. "Inherently, people are mobile, even if they're not traveling from city to city. HR departments are also now offering [mobile devices] to new employees as time-shifting devices."

Don't forget that when you're mobile, your cell phones, notebooks, and handhelds are vulnerable to security threats. For tips on how to keep your data safe, go to "Wireless Security" .

Wireless Conundrum

When it comes to keeping in touch, Wi-Fi hot spots keep getting hotter, while the adoption of high-speed, wider-area wireless remains lukewarm. Still, experts believe the rollout of 3G services will continue fast and furious over the next 18 months.

"Generally speaking, the 2.5G data uptake has been marginal both in the consumer and enterprise space," says Ellen Daley, principal analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "But the carriers have been deploying 3G-type services."

Sprint PCS launched its Evolution-Data Optimized service in July in major airports and along well-trafficked business corridors, and expects to reach 150 million people in 60 metropolitan areas by early 2006. At the time of its launch, the carrier offered two different connection cards (necessary to access the network) that cost approximately $249 each; subscription pricing starts at $40 per month for 40MB. Sprint EV-DO mobile-phone handsets are expected in the fourth quarter.

Verizon Wireless offers EV-DO service in 30 to 35 markets and aims to cover half of the U.S. population by the end of the year. It has segmented its services into its BroadbandAccess service for business customers and V Cast, a multi-media service for consumers offering video, 3-D games and music. By mid-summer, some Verizon EV-DO customers were experiencing download speed bursts of 400Kbps to 700Kbps. In late July, the carrier shipped its PC 5740 wireless card, which you can use in a notebook to access Broadband-Access services. The card is backward-compatible: That is, if you travel outside an area where BroadbandAccess is available, the card will work on Verizon's existing 1xRTT National Access network. The card costs $49.99 after a mail-in rebate if you commit to a two-year contract.

Lewis Ward, senior research analyst for IDC's mobile and wireless communications program, says users need to upgrade their handsets to take true advantage of most next-generation services. Then there are the extra fees. For example, Verizon charges an extra $15 per month for V Cast, and certain types of content cost extra to download. If you're using 3G services via a laptop connection, you can expect to pay $60 to $80 per month for that privilege, he estimates.

True national availability won't be likely until 2008, Ward predicts. That means carriers have plenty of catching up to do, considering the ongoing expansion of T-Mobile HotSpot, billed as the most extensive commercial Wi-Fi network in the U.S. (including the ubiquitous Starbucks locations).

Deals announced earlier this year should eventually enable T-Mobile Hot-Spot customers to use their accounts at hotels including Doubletree, Hilton and Marriott, as well as 72 airports across the U.S. The pacts will bring T-Mobile's total number of Wi-Fi locations to 25,000 internationally. Existing T-Mobile cell phone customers can buy a subscription for $19.99 per month, but you can also buy bundles of usage, such as a $9 day pass.

Other Wi-Fi providers include Wayport, which covers more than 9,000 locations including 800 major hotels, plus McDonald's and Hertz sites; and Boingo Wireless, which also covers thousands of areas. For the lowdown on where to Wi-Fi from Boston to Los Angeles, go to "Wi-Fi Hot Spots" --we've rounded up some happening hot spots in eight major cities.

Wi-Fi speeds will continue to become more robust through the addition of features such as multiple-input, multiple-output technology. MIMO, slated to be part of the 802.11n standard that will eventually replace today's 802.11g, is designed to help enable data transmission rates of up to 108Mbps.

Last year, we reported on several experiments and projects that will bring Wi-Fi access to airplanes, trains and ferryboats. Since that time, United Airlines has received the nod from the Federal Aviation Administration to install Wi-Fi 802.11b/g equipment on its planes for in-flight use. The airline plans to install the technology along with its partner, Verizon Communications. At press time, the launch date depended on the results of the FCC's Air-to-Ground spectrum auction. That's because United needs to provide a link from the self-contained wireless network back to an internet access point on the ground .

Indeed, the need for deeper cooperation between wireless telecommunications carriers and Wi-Fi evangelists is something wireless experts think will become imperative over the next year. They believe an increasing number of users crave a single handset that combines Wi-Fi and GSM/GPRS cellular communications--both voice and data flavors. Such devices would enable Voice WLAN applications. That means a person could place calls or send data using whichever wireless network is available or most cost-effective depending on their situation, swapping back and forth between network types.

The cost of current devices combining Wi-Fi and cellular radios, such as the Siemens SX66 Pocket PC Phone or the HP iPAQ h6315, is about $550. That's in part because the microprocessors needed to support multiple modes are still pricey. Carriers also need to invest in technology to guarantee the seamless handoff of calls between different networks. Daley predicts it will take at least three years for the multimode technology to become mainstream: "Still, we're moving toward a tapestry of access methods that ultimately will be interoperable."

Location, Location, Location

If you're the sort of person who hates stopping to ask for directions, then you're in luck: More handhelds are adding support for Global Positioning Satellite systems.

Todd Kort, principal analyst for mobile technology at Gartner Inc., an IT research firm in Dripping Springs, Texas, estimates about 1 million PDAs that integrate GPS features will be sold this year worldwide. Although interest in these products is strongest in Europe, U.S. buyers now have a broadening array of choices, including Hewlett-Packard's planned iPAQ hw6500 Mobile Messenger--it will be the first handheld to include GPS support.

At a price point of $750 in the U.S. market (all prices street), the Garmin iQue m5 is a handheld that makes GPS its priority, Kort says. What makes the product unique is a 3.5-inch diagonal display that can be used in either a landscape or portrait orientation. Other GPS-enabled devices specifically optimized for mobile navigation purposes include the $599 Mio168RS from Mio Technology and the $499 Navman PiN 570 Pocket PC.

Kort says buyers opting for integrated GPS should expect to make some trade-offs. "What you want with a good GPS device is a large display, high resolution, and an interface that isn't cluttered," he says. Another thing you'll need: long battery life.

The problem is that these goals are at odds with the overriding design theme for many handhelds: to become smaller and more compact. "At the end of the day, GPS is not something that is a killer application for handhelds," says David Linsalata, analyst
for mobile devices with research firm IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts.

That's why, aside from the integrated GPS handhelds mentioned above, you can expect to see an increasing number of peripherals that serve as adjuncts to your PDA or notebook, most often via a Bluetooth connection.

One example is Socket Communications' GPS Nav Kit, a receiver that includes personal routing software. The kit, priced at just under $350, hooks into your handheld or your notebook and works for up to 9 hours. Another option is Gate5's Smart2Go Mobile Navigator, due this fall in the U.S., which also costs roughly $350. The 3-inch receiver links to smartphones including the Palm Treo, Pocket PC and Windows Smartphone models, as well as Nokia offerings.

Perfect Setup
Since the lines between your office, home and the road are blurring, entrepreneurs need to make the most of mobile devices. We asked Will Luden, CEO of IT service provider Info Partners , and Keith Costas, the company's director of engineering, for a few recommendations.

Costas suggests Palm Treos or BlackBerries for highly mobile entrepreneurs. For those who are occasionally mobile, he suggests laptops like Dell (for general purposes), IBM (for more rugged applications), and Sony (for ultraportable needs). For your home office, a smartphone-type device is basically self-contained if you have a server like the BlackBerry Server back at the office. Broadband internet is a must. And laptop users should consider buying a $200 docking station. "With screen sizes these days, you don't need the full docking station with the external monitor," says Costas.

A little Wi-Fi goes a long way. "Now there's virtually no downside to wireless," says Luden. A home Wi-Fi network lets you work anywhere in your house, share an internet connection with your family and connect home electronics and smart appliances with your computer. A VPN or terminal services setup can keep you in secure communication with your office from home or from a hot spot while traveling. So when making your next technology purchase, consider how you can get the most out of it, wherever you are.--Amanda C. Kooser

More Power to You
All the mobile technology in the world is useless without the juice to power it. Long battery life is something business travelers seek out to help tide them over through those many hours away from power outlets. New types of battery technologies are teasing us from the horizon. Fuel cells hold a lot of promise, but it will be awhile before they actually become available for laptops and other mobile devices. In the meantime, there are some battery add-ons you can take advantage of to maximize your working time on the go. In notebooks, Intel's Centrino mobile processors can help extend battery life. APC's $249 Universal Notebook Battery is handy to have around for those long flights or as an emergency backup. For smaller gadgets, look into an item like ZAP's Portable Energy. This $100 rechargeable, 4.9-ounce device has a 500-cycle life span and can charge or power a cell phone, digital camera, PDA or other mobile gadget. Another option is the Cellboost from Compact Power Systems, a disposable cell phone charger that costs about $10. It will give you the extra time you need to wrap up that important business call.--A.C.K.

Traveling Light
It may feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders, but it's actually just your laptop and gear. It's time to slim down. Here's the challenge: Put together a powerful mobile computing package that weighs under 5 pounds.

Toshiba's $2,099 Libretto U105 comes with an LED-backlit 7.2-inch screen, Windows XP Pro, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a fingerprint reader and a 60GB hard drive. All that weighs just over 2 pounds. Add the removable DVD multi-drive for reading and writing, and you're at about 3.2 pounds. A $45 BenQ m310 wireless optical mouse provides computing comfort for just 2.8 ounces. And to keep you entertained while traveling, add in an Apple iPod nano. The 4GB model runs $249 and weighs in at 1.5 ounces. More than just music, users can load up their contacts and calendar information. Downloadable iPod scripts from Apple also let you view notes on the go. To carry all your gear, the $25 Targus CVR200 is a 1-pound notebook slipcase that can be used as a stand-alone case. It features a protected notebook section, a file pocket and a front storage section for your business card holder and pen. All together, we're at less than 4.5 pounds, which leaves you with some wiggle room. Business travel doesn't have to be a pain in the back.--A.C.K.

Wi-Fi Hot Spots and Wireless Security

In most urban areas these days, you can find a Wi-Fi hot spot within a PDA's throw of wherever you are. Places like Barnes & Noble, Borders and Starbucks are reliable stops for internet access. Boingo and T-Mobile are two major hot-spot aggregators to check in with. We rounded up some happening hot spots in eight major cities, but to locate hot spots all across the U.S., visit or .

Boston: Head to Newbury Street, where a host of restaurants and hotels will be happy to hook you up. The Wrap at 247 offers free Wi-Fi, so you can enjoy a smoothie while you surf. Over at 241, the Armani Caf� serves up Wi-Fi and Italian food. It's a good location for a small, informal business meeting.

Chicago: If you find yourself near Daley Center Plaza, stop by to access the City of Chicago Wireless Network. Free hot spots can also be found at the north and south ends of Millennium Park along Michigan Avenue, as well as in almost every branch the city's 79 public libraries.

Dallas: Driving through Dallas? Pull off I-20 to the Flying J Travel Plaza at Exit 472, where a one-day wireless pass costs about $5. If you're destined for the sky, you can log on at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, where T-Mobile provides a pay hot spot across Terminal A.

Denver: Mile-high Mac lovers can stop in at the Apple Store at 3000 E. 1st Ave. to hop online and take care of business while browsing for PowerBook accessories. When it comes to hotels, the Hyatt Regency Tech Center is just 10 miles from downtown and offers wireless internet in all 451 guest rooms.

Los Angeles: When you're craving a cool and refreshing treat, stop in at Lickety Split for frozen custard. They offer free Wi-Fi at their three locations in Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, and on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Downtown at Pershing Square, you can hop online as part of a free public Wi-Fi project launched earlier this year.

New York City: Grand Central Station is not just for trains--it's also for Wi-Fi. Boingo offers coverage in the lower level food court. The Downtown Alliance provides free access in eight public spaces in Lower Manhattan, including Bowling Green Park, the South Street Seaport and Wall Street Park.

Phoenix: Most FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers are Wi-Fi hot spots, so look out for a nearby store when you're in the Phoenix area. If you have business at or near the Arizona Legislature, you're in luck: Free wireless reaches through the hearing rooms, hallways and courtyard areas.

Portland, Oregon: Web development firm OakTree Digital provides free Wi-Fi at Tom McCall Park in the busy waterfront area. For other hot spots across the city, visit the volunteer-run Personal Telco Project .

Wireless Security
A word of caution before reading this section: Gartner Inc. recently listed mobile phone viruses and fears about wireless hot-spot security as two of the five most over-hyped security threats of the past year.

The fact is, although the R&D laboratories for various anti-virus companies report that close to 100 cell phone viruses have been identified over the past 18 months (most of them for products using the Symbian OS), the risk of your mobile phone becoming infected with a nasty virus is relatively minor. When they do spread, these viruses more often than not take advantage of Bluetooth connectivity to jump from phone to phone.

Gartner analysts predict that the chances for a virus outbreak are minimal until the end of 2007. Why 2007? In that year, the research firm predicts smartphone shipments of about 109 million, or 15 percent of all wireless phones, which would give virus writers a critical mass of products against which to launch an attack.

That's not to say cell phones, notebooks and handhelds are invulnerable. Securing Bluetooth connections and wireless provisioning methods, as well as configuring USB ports properly, are important strategies for locking down mobile devices. Plus, you need to prepare for a more serious mobile security threat: theft of your data or intellectual property. Recent statistics from the FBI estimate there were 1.5 million laptop computers stolen in 2004, up 50 percent over the year before. And that doesn't count all the notebooks or phones left in taxicabs and rental cars or forgotten in airplane seat-back pockets. Very few of these notebooks and phones are ever recovered, which has led to the release of myriad mobile encryption products.

"Anything that is mobile has a higher risk of being lost or stolen. Often, the data on the laptop is much more valuable than the laptop itself," says Brad Grob, vice president of marketing for SecureTrieve, a Los Angeles company that provides security technology for notebooks. Its product, dubbed SecureTrievePro, offers both encryption and a backup service that snatches back files you've identified for retrieval if a thief later uses your notebook to log on to the internet.

"The way it works is that when you report the computer stolen, and when the thief logs on to the internet, the files are retrieved automatically and invisibly," says Grob. That link also puts a trace on the location, so there is a greater chance of finding the stolen hardware. If the thief doesn't connect, the data is lost and irretrievable. A 30-day free trial can be downloaded from . After that, a six-month subscription is $39.95; a year is $69.95.

Perlego Systems of Gig Harbor, Washington, sells a product for smartphones developed with a similar philosophy: It can be used to reset or wipe a phone clean wirelessly through special over-the-air management technology. Elsewhere, Credant Technologies of Dallas sells a product called Credant Mobile Guardian, starting at about $70, that lets companies create login policies for notebooks.

Heather Clancy, editor of technology newsweekly CRN, has been covering the industry for 14 years.


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